From the Nation this insight into the mind of the junta and the ideological role of sufficiency economy:
The prime minister and the chief Army officer have both told us that we are facing a “new kind of threat”. It sounds frightening. It is supposed to wake us up from our complacency, and it surely has sparked a new round of heated debate.
But what precisely is it?
Asked for a definition, Council of National Security (CNS) chief, General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, described this threat as “a new danger not found in textbooks”.
He said it’s nothing like the security threats of the past such as border violations or narcotics trafficking. However, General Sonthi did not point specifically to the series of bombings on New Year’s Eve or the subsequent series of bomb threats directed against certain targets in the capital.
He then added to the confusion by explaining: “It’s a threat that comes with vote-buying in elections and the rural people’s lack of understanding about democracy and appreciation of the sufficiency economy principle.”
Read this in the context of another interesting comment from The Nation’s Kavi Chongkittavorn:
Some legislators and officials have already spoken of “sufficiency democracy” as part and parcel of the sufficiency economy. In Thai pracha thippatai poh peang might sound pleasing and reassuring but in English it is an antonym to freedom. Thai bureaucrats and developers have already treated the two concepts as mutually inclusive, which is extremely dangerous. Conservatives and royalists might want that to happen, citing the sufficiency economy as the bedrock for all blueprints.
Frankly speaking, sufficiency economy is a self-defence response to predatory globalisation practices and it should not be mingled with politics.